Republican Donald Trump has been elected as the 45th president of the United States in an election that went into the early hours of the morning on Nov. 9. Research now shows that evangelicals were a key factor in Trump’s victory.
One commentator noted that “This was the largest turnout of evangelical voters in American history.”
Despite many evangelicals’ reservations about voting for Trump, Christianity Today notes that research shows four in five white evangelicals voted for him.
White evangelical Christians voted for Trump over Hillary Clinton 81 percent to just 16 percent.
Evangelicals of color, however, preferred Clinton. These evangelicals represent two in five of all evangelicals.
Political commentators said that Trump made much more of an effort than Clinton to court the vote of evangelicals.
“The fact of the matter is that in this race only one of the two major party candidates even pretended to care about white evangelicals,” tweeted Obama’s former faith advisor Michael Wear.
Although some evangelical leaders such as Russell Moore, Denny Burk, and Max Lucado remained firmly against Trump, many other evangelical leaders such as Robert Jeffress and Jerry Falwell, Jr., the president of Liberty University where Trump spoke several times, were enthusiastic Trump supporters.
Research also shows that evangelicals made up one in four of all voters in the 2016 election. Other demographics that voted heavily for Trump were Republican men (90 percent), Republican women (89 percent), and conservatives (81 percent).
“We are going to see continuing rifts among evangelical leaders in the coming years, and much of the debate will be about how to respond as Christians to the many challenges of pluralism in American public life,” concluded Kevin den Dulk, a political science professor at Calvin College.
After his victory, at about 2:45 a.m. on Nov. 9, Trump gave a victory speech that many applauded as being conciliatory and gracious. In the speech, Trump also thanked his supporters and his family and said the victory belonged to “us,” and not to him alone.
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Publication date: November 9, 2016